If you’ve not heard of Wild Justice (how about we just call it WJ for the next few paragraphs), it’s a not-for-profit company launched by Mark, Chris Packham, and Ruth Tingay in February this year, with the aim of ‘taking legal cases on behalf of wildlife against public bodies where they are failing to protect species and/or habitats’. Legal action will be funded by public donations and crowdfunding appeals.
On Friday last week (15th
And it’s all going rather well!
When I left home at 08:30 the appeal (which needs to collect the rather chunky sum of £36,000!) had raised around £20,000 – in little more than a weekend! By the time I got to Mark at about
Incidentally, by that evening it had jumped again
Anyhow, the upshot of all this generosity is that I found Mark in a more relaxed mood
I always enjoy having a good chat with Mark by the way, especially when the pressures of Hen Harrier Day, a book launch, a legal challenge to brood meddling etc are essentially off his shoulders. We both know that he is a lot smarter than me (which he’s kind enough not to point out) but that’s never stopped the conversation from flowing.
As a pre-amble to the ‘serious’ interview stuff, we headed out into his back garden. Mark (and you’ll know this if you’ve spent any time with him) has a mischievous sense of humour (put him in a room with Ruth Tingay and it all turns a bit sixth-form rather quickly) and a few mild indiscretions were shared over a rather nice bottle of red (is there anyone Mark doesn’t know from decades spent in conservation? I’ve not found his limits yet.). Even the weather had perked up enough to tempt out a couple of Brimstones, while Red Kites circled slowly overhead. It was a very good morning.
We covered a fair bit of ground (including potential book ideas, Tengmalm’s Owls [have I told you my Spurn Obs/Barry Spence story? Grrr], local ornithology, pragmatism vs dogmatism vs life experiences [the wine may have influenced that a little]) before heading in for a vegan lunch with homemade bread. Very tasty, thanks for making the effort
Then, on to a pot of coffee and the interview.
Now while I don’t kid myself that my style of interviewing is all that much different to anyone else’s (though the RSPB’s Jeff Knott did say on Twitter that I was ‘unique in air quotes’ recently which may or may not be a good thing), I am always interested in learning the backstory, asking for the information that’s not on the individual’s/organisation’s website (rather than just repeating what a quick Google search would tell us all anyway).
So, I started by asking Mark whether I was correct in thinking that the idea for WJ had developed during the collation of the superb (you’ve not downloaded it yet? Seriously, you must) A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife which Mark, Ruth, and Chris had all been heavily involved in writing.
Was I right*? Well, I’ll be editing the recording today and if you’re interested you can find out soon. I’ll post the link here and in the column to the right.
*Okay, let’s be upfront – the answer is sort of…